The Future? Part 1 - Race Relations & Immigration

I have begun the difficult but exciting process of carefully thinking about what specific issues a new Republican party can run on in the future (planning for 2012, but we may be ready for 2010).

Steps for Success

Our problem is the party's race relations. For decades now Republicans (and even conservatives in general) have very successfully been labeled as racists and bigots. Yes, this is very largely because our opponents have driven this message to the public, but ultimately it is our fault for not working hard enough to selling ourselves and our accomplishments in this area.

  • This starts with our history as the party that ended slavery under President Lincoln, but continues right up to President George W. Bush's very racially diverse administration. We must build grassroots marketing campaigns to make sure the public (especially young people) know that the Republican party is the historical party of racial liberty and opportunity. These grassroots campaigns should start on popular Internet social networking sites and conservative blogs, but could eventually create multimedia advertisements to be picked up and distributed on broadcast stations by political organizations with money. We will receive much ridicule from the left at first, but if we stick to these campaigns we can at least get this out into the "public consciousness" so it isn't such a strange idea when 2012 comes around.
  • Reach out more to an ethnic population very often overlooked by both conservatives and liberals: Native Americans. With the power of charities and grassroots fundraising, we can take the message of self-reliance and hard work to the communities that are trapped in alcoholism and welfare. People may scoff at this, but it would go a long way not only to helping Native peoples, but also our reputation among the public. And assuming initial success we could expand the message to immigrating Hispanics, who oftentimes identify themselves with mixed Native heritage depending upon the region they come from.
  • And the hardest, but most important one: we have to take a long, hard look at our traditional stance on immigration. Does this mean accepting "Amnesty"? No. But it does mean being willing to come up with creative solutions to the problem and packaging those solutions in digestible ideas for sound bites and campaign slogans to persuade people. Below are ideas on how a Republican immigration plan can look and be marketed. The bottom line is that we have to be willing to bend a little on this issue and heavily market this in order to ever overcome our unfair reputation as the anti-immigration party.
  • We have to also work harder at digging up hard examples of how welfare and big government nanny-ism hurts immigrant families in the long run. Counter that with hard evidence of how entrepreneurship and learning English in these families leads to greater success. And when we have these examples and raw information, we need to package and market deep inside ethnic communities (Spanish-language television stations, newspapers, churches and other organizations).

Legislative Leadership

Assuming Senator John McCain decides to stay in office after this election, he would be a tremendous asset to this immigration campaign. He has championed borderline Amnesty immigration reform, but if we come up with solutions that are less strict than we traditionally have pushed, we could convince him to meet us half way. He has also been a huge advocate for Native Americans in his time in the Senate (which is something I am sad never was brought up during any of his stump speeches or television spots), and his reputation in this could lift up other Republican politicians that work with him (legislators or governors) and provide them a foundation to build on.

Are there any other Republican politicians that are working on immigration reform or relations within the Native American communities?

Possible Features

Some ideas for this future immigration reform, for your consideration to get discussion started:

  • Whatever programs for helping educating and integrating immigrants into America must come from charities and other private sources, not the federal government (although state governments would be free to partner with these programs, of course). The federal government may help co-ordinate these disparate organizations so that people in need of the services have a single website and phone number to get information from, but that is the extent of government involvement. We can start here by making a list of existing charities that are in this field already.
  • It may be necessary for some federal taxpayer money to be used to help these programs with their expanded administrative costs at first, but even if this is true any annual financing should have an automatic expiration date that fades away over a set number of years.
  • A combined guest worker and academic study program with a defined path to citizenship. Allow a certain number of people from all over the world to come to the U.S. for 2 year blocks of time to work or go to school. They would never be eligible for the welfare programs, so if they loose their job and can't find another one to buy food or health care, their guest permit is revoked. They must show some level of English, although wouldn't have to be fluent (that should come while they work or learn here). If they break any significant crime they would loose their guest permit (drunk driving would be enough, but a speeding citation may not).
  • The above guest worker/student program can be used to funnel all potential citizens into our country. Therefore, there would not be any hard line between foreigner one day then full-blown citizen the next. Everyone would come in to work or learn while proving to the government they can follow the laws and become fluent in English in order to attain full citizenship.
  • I do not think the guest worker/student program should cost the foreigner much money. It should be cheap and easy to become a "guest" for at least 2 years. Their presence in the country by paying taxes and being productive would be benefit enough to our economy. However, the costs for becoming a full citizen should pay for themselves through application fees. Even at most I don't expect that to be more than $2,000, and even that may be high.
  • Give all applicants in our current system that have been waiting more than 2 years a priority treatment to become guests as soon as possible, and waive their application fees to become citizens when they are ready (assuming they meet all qualifications).
  • To become a guest worker, the individual must apply through a U.S. Embassy in their native country (or an auxiliary office of the Embassy in large countries). There would not be any way to apply within the USA, therefore encouraging immigrants who are here in the U.S. illegally to return home first. We would allow them to leave in peace, and in fact may even set them up with charities or other programs to help them pay for the trip back. Once they properly apply, they may be given a priority treatment to become guests because of the prior experience with the U.S., but it would not be greater treatment than those immigrants who are grandfathered in from the old system.
  • And of course, securing the border is an absolute requirement. Leaving it open and unguarded is a huge national security risk as we all know. I believe we can successfully sell this to the public if our plans for legal guests and immigrants is seen as accepting and humanitarian enough. The only real questions are whether this secured border would be a physical wall (sorry, a "fence" isn't going to cut it), or a virtual one of cameras and UAVs patrols in the air. I'm leaning towards the virtual one. And also whether the National Guard would be involved by activation by the federal government on short term rotations (3 months would be best).

Consequences

If we fail to reclaim the label of racial liberators, then the Republican Party will fade away, faced with a Democrat Party constantly growing off of changing ethnic demographics all over the country. The two party Republican/Democrat dynamic would eventually be replaced by a split in the Democratic party between their far-left and left-of-center factions. Yes, the core conservative heart of the American public will live on, but an organization large and sufficiently funded enough will not be there to empower them.

A disclaimer: I am a conservative, but registered Libertarian, not Republican, although that may change in the future depending where the party goes.

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Comments

Introduction

Just wanted to say hello to everyone here at TheNextRight. This is my first post here (which is also cross-posted over at RedState, which is how I found out about this blog), although I have been a lurker through the general election. I decided now was the time to start getting involved online, planning for the future of the conservative movement (I had primarily just worked as a volunteer phone banker here in north Florida).

I'm a registered Libertarian fiscal and defense conservative. Fairly young (but aging faster than I like, *sigh*), and surrounded by young liberals at work that think "socialism" is just another word for "charity".

Thanks for this great site.

since we can give up on the blacks:

Reach out more to an ethnic population very often overlooked by both conservatives and liberals: Native Americans. With the power of charities and grassroots fundraising, we can take the message of self-reliance and hard work to the communities that are trapped in alcoholism and welfare. People may scoff at this, but it would go a long way not only to helping Native peoples, but also our reputation among the public. And assuming initial success we could expand the message to immigrating Hispanics, who oftentimes identify themselves with mixed Native heritage depending upon the region they come from.

 

The cynical opportunism here is exactly the thing you need to avoid regarding race relations.  This seems like you're not only willing to help fraction the populace into stringently defined ethnic groups but to give up on certain ones (blacks obviously) for, as a race, not exhibiting positive characteristics.  It sounds like you're for the party earning their racist reputation.  I don't have time to go through the entire history of African-Americans to convince you that we're much more deserving than you seem to think but in short we're a people who went from slaves to millionares in less than one generation and big named international players in just a couple more. 

stats don't exactly back you up

I reject your anecdotal evidence.

racism is still bad though.

What did I say was factually wrong?

"racism is still bad though".  How disingeneous of you.  Get out of here you're exactly what we don't need.

blacks on average have 10% of the wealth of whites

in america. take both as averages, of course. You should not say that they have become on average millionaires, although I'm sure that a few have.

I ascribe to the scholarship of the field, which says that the reason for this nonaccumulation of wealth is as a result of systematic governmental discrimination (Homestead Act being one of the chief sources)

Oh okay, sorry for assuming ill intent

I thought you meant stats to prove that blacks were undeserving of consideration.  But of course I wasn't saying that they're on average millionares - no ethnic group is.

Not intended

None of my piece was against African-American/Black people at all. Just because I did not specifically mention them certainly does not mean I consider anyone to be undeserving, unworthy, or impossible of conservative values.

From your comment I suspect you have found some beliefs you've encountered with other people, and taken them out on me. This is why I hate typing as a form of fine communication: it never conveys emotion or tone properly. None of what you have stated is true with me, I assure you.

I targeted Native Americans because they are so often overlooked nowadays. All the attention and efforts go into blacks, Hispanics, or south/east Asians (Middle East). I find that to be a sad state of affairs. Also, from a purely calculating, emotionless point of view Native Americans can be helped the most by conservative values from where they are today. What is wrong with any of this?

Before I stop, I just wanted to re-iterate that no disrespect was in my original post, I hope you realize that. It is a limitation of the medium we're using.

Quick response

Whatever programs for helping educating and integrating immigrants into America must come from charities and other private sources, not the federal government

That would great... for the NCLR and all the other groups that would use that to push their agendas.

A combined guest worker and academic study program with a defined path to citizenship. Allow a certain number of people from all over the world to come to the U.S. for 2 year blocks of time to work or go to school.

I'm not going to go into all the arguments against such programs, but many of our "guests" will have U.S. citizen children and that will make it even more difficult to deport those who won't leave.

On the wider issue, shortly before I was banned by RedState I posted a few entries and many comments urging those "people" there to support giving post-Katrina jobs in New Orleans to the previous residents rather than illegal aliens. That did not go very well at all, especially after I suggested working with Jesse Jackson on it (you'll recall at the time he was trying to arrange a jobs caravan to NO). They had no clue, Bush had no clue, and I don't think too many other GOP leaders have a clue either.

And, I run a site about immigration containing literally thousands of entries spanning several years. Scan the archives to learn much more about this issue than almost any other source will tell you.

 

solution?

First, I am unfamiliar with the reputation of the National Council of La Raza (which is what I assume NCLR stands for). But I don't think we should refuse to help Hispanics and other immigrants (or rather, allow charities and other private parties to help them) just because some radical advocacy groups would get involved. Sorry, that just isn't a good argument.

Yes, it is very possible that "guests" would have children here and under current law that would make it near impossible for them to be deported. What's your solution? Are we going to continue our reputation of being heartless and racist by kicking them out or denying any rights? Or just refuse to let them in at all in the first place and work to round them up and deport them? Or be weak and a bunch of push-overs and just not enforce any current laws?

Yes, I am being a bit agreesive here in my response, but that is because a pet peeve of mine is unconstructive criticism. When people want to disagree with an idea and just try to tear it down without presenting *any* possible alternative or fix. So, what's your solution, if you don't mind my asking?